“Whenever I notice something about myself I don’t like, or whenever something goes wrong in my life, I silently repeat the following phrases:
Suffering is a part of life.
May I be kind to myself in this moment.
May I give myself the compassion I need.
I find these phrases particularly useful, not only because they’re short and easily memorized, but because they invoke all three aspects of self-compassion simultaneously.
The first phrase, ‘This is a moment of suffering,’ is important because it brings mindfulness to the fact that you’re in pain. If you’re upset because you notice you’ve gained a few pounds, or if you get pulled over for a traffic violation, it’s often hard to remember that these are moments of suffering worthy of compassion.
The second phrase, ‘Suffering is a part of life,’ reminds you that imperfection is part of the shared human experience. You don’t need to fight against the fact that things aren’t exactly as you want them to be, because this is a normal natural state of affairs. More than that, it’s one that every other person on the planet also experiences, and you’re certainly not alone in your predicament.
The third phrase, ‘May I be kind to myself in this moment,’ helps bring a sense of caring concern to your present experience. Your heart starts to soften when you soothe and comfort yourself for the pain you’re going through.
The final phrase, ‘May I give myself the compassion I need,’ firmly sets your intention to be self-compassionate and reminds you that you are worthy of receiving compassionate care.”
After a few weeks of practicing this self-compassion mantra, you may start to get a small taste of freedom from your habitual mind-set. You may become more objectively aware of & less lost in your thought patterns. You may become less self-critical and less negative about your life.
We can learn to "accept and acknowledge the fact that sometimes, life does suck. But we don't have to make things worse than they already are. The key to self-compassion is not to deny suffering, but to recognize that it's perfectly normal. There isn't anything wrong with the imperfection of life as long as we don't expect it to be other than it is.
Once we remember to be self-compassionate, we can appreciate the half of the glass that's full as well as noticing the half that's empty."
Kristin Neff. “Self-Compassion. The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself.” HarperCollins Publishers, 2011.